Consider the Ant!? Answers in Genesis suggests Invertebrates May Not Be Alive in the “Biblical Sense” or Whaaaat the Sheol?!?!

I can’t make this stuff up. Okay, I could. But I don’t have to because Answers in Genesis has a whole staff of writers who make this stuff up.

In order to defend AiG’s assertion that death only entered the world when ha’adam ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and following a typical AiG strategy, Avery Foley suggests that ants and other insects are not living things[1],

Aside from the possibility that ants, and other insects, are not even alive in the biblical sense . . .

What does “not even alive in the biblical sense” even mean, is it like “knowing someone in the biblical sense”? “Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well.”[2] Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.[3] Well, under the veneer of real research, AiG often includes footnotes [of course, footnote 1 is the only footnote but surely this indicates that this “scientifically” or “biblically” grounded article must have data to back up such a bold and paradigm shifting claim], let’s scroll down, shall we? Continue reading “Consider the Ant!? Answers in Genesis suggests Invertebrates May Not Be Alive in the “Biblical Sense” or Whaaaat the Sheol?!?!”

Advertisements

Ham-Handed Hermeneutics VI: More Hippo, Less Ham

Or the Harmonization Temptation

This post continues and concludes (for now) my engagement with Augustine’s On the Literal Meaning of Genesis.
I simply want to note some of the intriguing and insightful elements in this work. I will give particular attention to Augustine’s suggestion that Genesis 1 presents God’s causal creation of all things, including human beings, while Genesis 2 describes the formal or material creation of human beings which for Augustine is God’s ongoing creative activity. Finally, I suggest that one of the errors that is common to Ham, Augustine and many errors is the desire to harmonize Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.

[For related Ham-Handed posts follow these links: Augustine IAugustine II, Augustine III)

Continue reading “Ham-Handed Hermeneutics VI: More Hippo, Less Ham”

Humanity was not made for Scripture but Scripture for Humanity

Following from the idea of sola scriptura (scripture alone), many Christians, primarily those coming out of the Protestant traditions, have come to think that if people will just read the Bible they will become followers of Christ. That is, they seem to suggest that acceptance of the Bible as an authoritative text for life precedes acceptance of Christ Jesus as Lord and Savio(u)r.

In convincing the world of this basic though generally erroneous assumption, we Protestants have unfortunately been quite successful. I am reminded of this through my recent interactions with non-Christians of various kinds.

To witness our success, take some time to listen to how non-Christians portray Christianity. For a moment, you might see yourself as in a mirror, it may be a funhouse mirror but it is a mirror, nonetheless.

When you do take time to listen, to ask questions, to create space for your neighbo(u)r to give voice to their ideas, frustrations, fears, dreams, desires, and concerns, I think you will hear what I hear quite consistently. That is, in the distortions of the funhouse mirror, this view of the authority of Scripture is an accurate reflection of what they hear from Christians. Continue reading “Humanity was not made for Scripture but Scripture for Humanity”

What Motivates N.T. Wright? Well, Why not Ask Him? So, I Did.

A Brief Interview with N.T. Wright

As I was writing my previous post, What Motivates Ken Ham? or What AiG Gets Wrong about N.T. Wright, I thought to myself maybe I should just ask Dr. Wright myself.

I wonder if the folks at Answers in Genesis have thought of this radical off the wall approach to dialogue. Do the writers at AiG consider actually engaging in conversation with the scholars that they so readily judge and condemn? I have it on good authority that Wright and other scholars do receive mail from Young Earthers, hate mail, that is.

In my view, scholarship is engaging in an ongoing conversation. Conversation requires listening and responding. Moreover, as the word itself suggests true conversation allows for the possibility of conversion. That is, when one enters into a conversation it is possible that you or your conversation partner may have a change of mind. (see “The Discipline of Study” in Richard Foster’s The Celebration of Discipline) In Academics, this dialogue is often carried out by reading one another’s writings and seriously engaging with and responding to each other’s arguments and thoughts.

Now, I have met Wright a few times at Regent College and at Society of Biblical Literature meetings. He likely does not remember me but we do have some mutual friends who could vouch for me. So, I re-introduced myself and asked him the following questions:

1. What motivates you to engage the Academy?

2. What motivated you to accept the theory of evolution (if indeed you have)? Continue reading “What Motivates N.T. Wright? Well, Why not Ask Him? So, I Did.”

Ham-Handed Hermeneutics 3: St. Augustine (354-430 AD) and The Literal Meaning of Genesis (Vol I, Book 1.i-xvi)

The Ham-Handed Hermeneutics posts serve two main purposes. On the one hand, I seek to test Ken Ham and AiG’s claims that the Church has always interpreted the early chapters of Genesis in a literal fashion and in such a way that it entails a belief that the cosmos is approximately 7,000 years old. On the other hand, out of personal and scholarly interest, I seek to present thoughtfully and faithfully how the Church Fathers interpreted the early chapters of Genesis and their assumptions about the age of the universe. Continue reading “Ham-Handed Hermeneutics 3: St. Augustine (354-430 AD) and The Literal Meaning of Genesis (Vol I, Book 1.i-xvi)”

An Unhappy Marriage III: Don’t Tell Me What I Think (or the Art of Listening)

In this series of posts, I am noting the shared presuppositions of most Young Earthers (YECs) and a particular though common subset of atheists which I am referring to as evangelistic atheists. Evangelistic atheists (EAs) are those who think atheism and atheistic reasoning are “good news” and that as they spread this good news theism (superstition) will decline and the world will become a better place through scientific discovery.

In the west and for obvious reasons, the primary target of evangelistic atheism’s polemical rhetoric is aimed at Christians. In my experience which includes reading, conversation, on-line interaction (i.e. not usually conversational), being a student in anti-Christian contexts, and my own youth which included an element of anti-Christian skeptical agnosticism most evangelistic atheists seem to assume and, indeed, insist that true Christianity is Protestant Fundamentalist Christianity.

Related Posts: Unhappy Marriage II: Stuck in the Middle with YouUnhappy Marriage I: Atheists are from Mars and Young Earthers are from Earth

I am likely stretching my analogy of the Unhappy Marriage to the breaking point but who cares its a blog. Continue reading “An Unhappy Marriage III: Don’t Tell Me What I Think (or the Art of Listening)”

An Unhappy Marriage II: Stuck in the Middle with You

“Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, Here I am stuck in the middle with you.” — Stealers Wheels

We are all fools. One type of fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

“Answer a fool according to his folly.” Sometimes, you have to set aside your ultimate aims and simply meet people where they are. You can’t just point an atheist to a Bible verse. That’s like quoting your mother to your wife in an argument.

As I suggested in my previous post, we all have biases, prejudices, and presuppositions. In fact, it would be difficult to function in the world without them. Continue reading “An Unhappy Marriage II: Stuck in the Middle with You”

Ken Ham on Homo Naledi: See No Evidence, Hear No Evidence, Speak No Truth

Today’s Reading: Psalm 115 & Jeremiah 7:4

Having read the post on Naturalis Historia about the release of information on H. naledi, I knew it would not be long before Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (AiG) voiced their collective judgment on the finding. Moreover, I knew what that judgment would be in advance. I am prescient that way. For Ham and AiG, This discovery would change nothing.

So, I was not surprised when Ken Ham released a tweet and a link to an “article” responding to this release of information about H. Naledi. Continue reading “Ken Ham on Homo Naledi: See No Evidence, Hear No Evidence, Speak No Truth”

What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr

Mayr, Ernst. What Evolution Is. (Basic Books, 2002) $9.99 Kindle/$12.91 Paper

Truly wanting to understand the theory of evolution as it is currently held and the evidence for it, I asked a fellow church member who is also a biologist to recommend a book that would describe the theory to me in a non-polemical tone. That is, I wanted to read a contemporary account of the theory of evolution by someone who was not also trying to convince me either that I ought to be an atheist or that I ought to reject the evidence if I wanted to remain a Christian. Nor was I looking for books about theistic evolution or Intelligent Design. I wanted a book about the scientific theory of evolution as I might want a book about string theory or the nature of blackholes. Continue reading “What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr”

Why [my friend] is Not Teaching This Year…and the Heresy of Ken Ham

This post will be my last post on Ken Ham for at least a week. I promise. I may still tweet one-liners, though. @panth_ian

Many of the posts on #POPChrist and on my friend Joel’s blog ‘resurrecting orthodoxy’ have been about Ken Ham and the teachings of AiG. Below, there is a link to Joel’s initial post on this topic called “Why I am Not Teaching This Year” and will give you (my wonderful readers) a better understanding of why Ham is on our minds at the moment. Continue reading “Why [my friend] is Not Teaching This Year…and the Heresy of Ken Ham”